This week DotW takes a look at the areas in MH that just don't fit into any other category. Most of them are home to only one (normally 'final boss') monster, and as such they tend to be quite memorable.
OK, not the most auspicious start. Home to Black Fatalis, final boss of MH1... OK, yes, the sky is quite weird. And the whole place is very grey and monotone.
On the brightside, the falling gate is quite cool (and hasn't returned in any other area since) and there's the Dragonator and Ballistas. So it's not completely rubbish.
Hot and fiery, the Battleground is the complete opposite of the plain Castle Schrade. More interesting monsters, as well; yeah, Crimson Fatalis turns up here, but Akantor is a more fun fight. And lets not forget Dual Kirin.
Unfortunately, Akantor demonstrates the biggest problem with this area... there's no damn room. Never has such an open field felt so damn claustrophobic. The invisible walls stretching around the trickles of lava are a right pain.
Snowy Mountains Peak
Ah, this place. There are some nice touches; two broken base camps suggest the Guild don't always put them in the perfect place, and there's a little mining spot and everything. Not that you'll ever use it, with fighting Ukanlos and carving Ukanlos taking up 99% of the time in this area, but you know, at least someone thought about it. The area looks quite nice as well - an old desolate glacier high up on a mountain - but the crack down the middle is pretty damn annoying. How many times has Ukanlos cornered you up against it?
The first two areas are pretty plain, boring underwater canyons. The last area is great though, a very aesthetically pleasing submerged ruin complete with Dragonator and Ballistas (wait, how the hell do they work underwater?).
Not sure why Lagiacrus Rare turns up here though...
There is a big empty desert, a ship, and Jhen Mohran. That's all you need to know.
First things first - why such a peculiar name? It's in the heart of the Volcano and only a flipping Alatreon lives there, it can't be that holy.
That aside, this place has quite a strong 'Battleground' vibe, though thankfully it's not riddled with bloody stupid lava rivers. It's not the most colourful, thrilling area, but I suppose it does an adequate job of providing an arena to fight Alatreon. The collapsing pillars and the rocks bobbing past in the lava are nice touches, too.
OK, it's desolate, but in a way that makes it seem like it's design to look bleak and windswept, rather than they just couldn't be bothered to add any detail.
Oh, and there's Ballistas. For some reason.
Polar Zone and Lava Canyon
Hello again, Akantor and Ukanlos! Now I've got to admit, these areas are cool. There's that aurora in the Polar Zone, and all the ice cave looks great. You can even get over the strangely requisite crack in the middle at certain points! Lava zone is big, spread out (hooray!) and has a crashed airship in the basecamp. That's pretty cool.
Well, we've certainly come a long way from Castle Schrade. This isn't my favourite unique area, though... Guran doesn't really fit it. I do like the smashed up ship, though, and the fact you can go underwater.
Comment below with your own thoughts and opinions about each of these areas!